News / In Detail / Perspective

No New Long Beach Cops Proposed For Council Funding In Garcia/Foster Recommended FY15 Budget

PD would hire 11 non-sworn personnel to shift 18 "full time equiavent" sworn officers to "high priority investigations of burglary, homicide, gangs and narcotics."

(August 1, 2014) -- The FY15 budget recommended by Mayors Garcia and Foster includes no restorations of currently budgeted police officers for taxpayers.

In addition to proposing the complete elimination of LBPD's previously fully budgeted 22 sworn officer field anti-gang units [ coverage here], a measure Mayor Foster proposed in August 2012 that previous Councils declined to approve in full, the Garcia/Foster recommended FY15 budget per LBPD management would hire 11 non-sworn personnel to [budget narrative text] "provide support at the Business Desk, Civic Center, Management of Criminal Investigations, and Juvenile Investigations booking and detention services" and shift what amounts to 18 "full time equivalent" sworn officers to [PD budget narrative text] "high priority investigations of burglary, homicide, gangs, and narcotics, where they can have the greatest impact on crime."

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Two new officers are included in the FY15 budget, but they're not funded by the City Council's General Fund and not deployable in neighborhoods citywide; they're funded by and contracted to handle LBTransit matters.

Under the Foster administration, Council majority budget votes between Sept. 2009 and Sept. 2013 let LB's sworn police level (available for citywide deployment) fall to a level now roughly in the range of what Long Beach had when Mayor Beverly O'Neill took office in mid-July 2014. Under the O'Neill administration, former city management and former Councilmembers gradually increased LB's police level, in part using federal "more police" grants in which city officials told the U.S. Justice Dept. that the city was committed to increasing its police level. Virtually all of those officers are now gone.

Under Long Beach Council budget votes in September 2009, 2010, 2011 (Schipske, Gabelich Neal dissenting), 2012 and 2013, Long Beach now provides taxpayers with a budgeted sworn citywide deployable police level roughly equivalent per capita to cutting roughly 30% of Los Angeles' LAPD officers. Signal Hill provides a per capita police level for its taxpayers even higher than L.A. The Long Beach City Council is currently scheduled to discuss management's proposed LBPD FY15 budget at an August 12 session.

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